The village of Koselig had begun building ships. For too long the Blodugur clan had pillaged their tiny coastal town (and they, in turn, had done the same to them) and now the village of Koselig had made plans to leave before more bloodshed. But they are too late.
A horn bellows, alerting Koselig to gather. Blodugur approaches, and they must prepare for battle. The people exchange worried glances, drawing their swords. The clan leader runs out in front of them. They stand poised for a rousing speech from their Chief.
“People of Koselig!” he shouts. “There, battle awaits.” He points to the Southern Forest where Blodugurian warriors slink along the tree line. “Remember now that when we gather, then our God will fight for us! Trust in Him!” The Chief pauses as the Elder of Koselig approaches and whispers into his ear. When he shouts again to the people, his posture has shifted. “This time though, drop your weapons and your shields. Do it quickly.” Confused, the people begin to lower their weapons to the ground. “How do you fight an army with no weapons?” They murmur.
Knowing the people’s unease, their leader continues, “We are going to send a diplomat urging them to join us instead of creating more bloodshed for us all. Pray for her, pray that God will speak through her.”
The people watch a woman ride toward the enemy alone. Some recognize the rider: her name is Laioma. At the tree line she stops and speaks. After the sun has gone to kiss the North Sea, the rider hurries back, the Blodugurian warriors trailing behind.
“Praise be to God today, people of Koselig!” she calls hoarsely. “He has heard our cries and gifted us with a new ally, not an enemy.” Most of Koselig replies with joyous shouts. But some clench their fists; others pull their children closer. Laioma continues, “Yes, much blood has been shed because of the violence between our two clans. And we grieve these losses with deep sorrow, as God does. But let us also remember the One He sent, who shed His own blood for us all. Because His love is greater than death, today the Blodugur clan joins us as members of the same body. We are fellow citizens who will search for new lands together, led by the One who brought peace, the One who is making us into the new humanity.”
The Elder brings the ceremonial goblet to Laioma, and she raises it for the newcomers to drink. The celebration proceeds into the night and into the day. While some are suspicious of one another, in the coming weeks meals are shared, trust is built, and among the people spreads the joy of the unity made possible by something beyond themselves. The forgiveness of the One has made the way for them to live in peace with one another. • Peter J. McDonough
• Today’s allegorical story shows how God has made unity possible through Jesus. We find the theme of unity throughout the Bible. For example, in Ephesians 2 Paul tells the Christians living in Ephesus that both Jewish Christians and Gentile (or non-Jewish) Christians “have access to the Father by one Spirit” (verse 18). They are all “fellow citizens” of God’s kingdom and also “members of his household” (verse 19). Jesus is the only One who could make this unity possible. Through His death and resurrection, He forgives all who trust in Him, uniting them with God…and uniting them with other believers. We cannot live in unity or love each other well apart from Jesus—the fact is, unity is a gift from God, and He empowers us to love one another through the Holy Spirit (John 15:1-17; 17:20-26). Can you think of any examples of ways you have seen God’s people living in unity with each other and loving each other well? What was that like?
• As the Koselig and Blodugurian people had to learn to work together, so we also are called to be in community with fellow Christians who are different from us, including those who don’t look like us, talk like us, think like us, or vote like us. This can be difficult, but God is eager to help us. Where do you see division…in the world around you, in your own life, maybe even in your local church? Consider taking a moment to imagine what it might look like for God to bring healing and wholeness to these difficult places and relationships. As you ponder these things, you can pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done. (Matthew 6:9-13)
• If you want to dig deeper, you can read in Acts 10 about the time God gave Peter a vision that resulted in Peter, a Jew, going to the home of a Gentile (which was against Jewish law). Peter then shared the good news with a deeper understanding of what Jesus had accomplished through His death and resurrection.
For he [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace. Ephesians 2:14-15 (NIV)